Stuck Windows in Photoshop Elements on a Mac

In the past couple of versions of OS X, more and more people are having trouble with the top of the Organizer window getting trapped up under the menu bar at the very top of their screens (the one with the black apple, the application’s name, File, Edit, etc). More rarely something similar happens with the editor. (To be fair, this isn’t strictly an Adobe problem; other third-party programs do this, too, but I don’t know how to fix those.)

While it can drive you nearly crazy trying to get ahold of that window to move it, there’s actually a relatively easy fix. If it’s the Organizer that’s stuck (and it usually is), just quit the Organizer, then go to your username->Library->Application Support->Adobe->Elements Organizer-> ( version number )->Organizer, and delete the file “status.dat” there, and relaunch the Organizer. You may need to go to File->Manage Catalogs to choose your catalog on opening the Organizer, but that’s all there is to it.

EDIT Forgot to mention that the way to see your username library is to click the Go menu in the Finder and hold down the Option key. Then it will appear below the little house for your user account.

When the Editor window gets stuck, you can usually unstick it by going to System Preferences->Displays and setting your monitor to the lowest available resolution setting there. You may need to do this a couple of times and sometimes choose more than one of the lower resolution settings, but sooner or later the Editor window will snap back into position. Then set your display back to its proper (highest) setting.

Adobe Hide and Seek: Setting PSE 10 as External Editor

Lots of people are thinking there’s a problem with the Mac version of Photoshop Elements 10 as an external editor for programs like iPhoto, Aperture, or Lightroom. If you’re having this problem, 99% of the time, you haven’t really set Elements as your external editor at all, even if you thought you did.

In Elements 10 for Mac, the actual Editor application is hidden away in the main Elements 10 folder inside a folder called Support Files. Who would think to look in there for the program itself? But that’s where Adobe hid it, supposedly to make things easier for beginners, or so they say. What you see at the top level of the PSE 10 folder is actually an alias to the Welcome Screen.

So when choosing Elements 10 as an external editor here’s the file you really want:

How to find the actual editor file in Photoshop Elements 10

If Elements is opening but no image appears when you send one over from the other program, that’s almost certainly your problem. Go back and change the chosen External Editor to the file where the arrow’s pointing in the illustration, and you should be all set.

Photoshop Elements 6 and Lion

As everyone knows by now, in Lion (Mac OS X 10.7) you can’t run applications written for the old power pc (PPC) architecture anymore, since there’s no more Rosetta. This isn’t a problem for Photoshop Elements 8 and 9, but if you have PSE 6, there’s a big potential gotcha.

As long as you don’t have PSE 6 set to run in Rosetta (so that you can use older plugins) when you upgrade to Lion, life is fine.  But if you do, the first time you try to open it, you’ll see a snarky message that you can’t run PPC applications anymore. What? Elements 6 is an intel-native program, not a PPC application. It doesn’t matter. If you have set  a a program to open in Rosetta when you first install Lion, it doesn’t forget, and that program is marked for the scrap heap. Uninstall and reinstall? Lion’s too smart for that. You’ll still see the message on a fresh install of PSE.

So what to do? Well, if you know ahead of time, it’s as easy as it can be to avoid the whole problem. Before you upgrade to Lion, go to your Applications folder->Adobe Photoshop Elements 6, click once on the actual application’s icon to select it, and press Command+i for the Get Info window. Then just turn off the Open In Rosetta checkbox:


If you do that before upgrading, you shouldn’t have any trouble. But what if you’ve already upgraded and you can’t get past the error message?

Here are two ways to fix it.

The Easy Way

Go to  < your username > ->Library->Preferences and delete com.apple.launchservices.plist. In Lion Apple has hidden your  user Library folder. To get to it, Option-click the Go Menu and you’ll see it appear just below your Home folder:

library menu option

While you’re in that folder, you may as well do a bit of tidying up and delete these files, too, so that you’ll have fresh ones for Lion:


Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Paths

Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 Settings

Restart the computer  (important!) and Elements should behave itself. If for some reason that fails, here’s an alternative way.

The More Complicated Way

1. Go into the Applications folder and move the entire Adobe Photoshop Elements 6 folder, the one shown here, to the Desktop:

the PSE 6 application folder

Now, you can’t just drag it out of Applications. That only makes an alias, and I’ve found the keystroke combos that should let you do this aren’t very reliable, either. Lion knows that applications belong in the Applications folder and it isn’t willing to let you put them elsewhere.

So what to do? Well, you can still delete an application. So click on the folder, press Command+delete to send it to the trash, and then you can drag it from the trash to your desktop.

2. Go into the folder and double-click the PSE 6 application to launch it.

You’ll see this window:

repair window

It doesn’t matter which button you click. Elements will open, although it may take a minute for all the pieces of the interface to appear. When it’s running create or open a file and do something. You don’t have to save your work. Then quit Elements.

3. Put Elements back into the Applications folder, and launch it there.

Just drop it back in. When you start PSE this time, click Repair Now.

Elements should be fine from now on, but it’s a good idea to go into your username->Library->Preferences and delete the Adobe preferences mentioned above.

Either method should get you up and running, but there’s some risk of damaging Elements by moving it all over the place, as in the second method. So do try the simple way first and save this as a last resort.

Photoshop Elements comes to the Mac App Store

Well, well, well.  Adobe has added Photoshop Elements 9 to the Mac App Store as a download, and what’s more, a download version without the organizer, according to the press release. (I haven’t seen it, since I’m not going to try to download anything there this morning. OS X 10.7 aka Lion also debuted there today, so things should be pretty impossible for a while.)

For all you organizer haters or users of other image management programs like iPhoto, this is verrry interesting news. Of course, the fact of the matter is that at $79, you can certainly beat the price elsewhere if you can stand to have organizer go along for the ride. Also, it might not be a bad idea to look up the history of the release dates of new versions of Elements to help you decide about purchasing it.

Here’s the press release, so you can know as much about it as I do for now.